We already know that Intel is going to launch the 7th generation Core “Kaby Lake” processors early 2017, with it Intel also going to introduce their new wave of socket LGA1151 motherboards based on Intel 200-series chipset. The 200-series lineup will include the Z270 Express chipset meant for high-performance desktops and H270 Express chipset for premium commercial desktops. But what kind of new features will introduce with these chipsets and is that will be good enough for an update from the current 100-series Z170 and H170 chipsets. Let see what we know so far.
To begin with, the new Z270 and H270 motherboards support Core “Kaby Lake” processors, out of the box. The older 100-series chipset motherboards will require a BIOS updates to support the new CPU.
Second, the new Z270 and H270 support Intel Optane Technology, a new breed of bleeding-edge performance SSDs based on the company’s 3D X-point non-volatile memory, which is the very latest in solid-state storage, and purported to be the fastest. The chips also support Rapid Storage Technology v15.
Third, the new 200-series chipsets will have more downstream (general purpose) PCI-Express Gen 3.0 lanes, with 14 downstream PCIe lanes; compared to 10 on the 100-series chipsets. This means the new motherboards will have additional bandwidth-heavy for onboard devices such as Thunderbolt and USB 3.1 controllers; additional M.2 slots, or just more PCIe slots with greater than x1 bandwidth. This means the new Z270 chipset has a total of 30 PCIe lanes, compared to 26 on Z170 chipset motherboards.